History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
As the president and general manager of A.E. Grier Funeral & Sons Funeral Ceremony of Choice, 2310 Statesville Avenue, he’s the backbone of the funeral business.
“I get enjoyment out of pleasing the families that I serve,” Grier, Jr. said. “When they are pleased, then I’m happy.” Gene Grier followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and grew up in the funeral business that was originally constructed in 1930.
A.E. Grier & Sons Funeral Ceremony of Choice, not to be confused with Grier Funeral Service, Inc. off of Brookshire Freeway, is a family owned business. The 69 year-old works with his two sons, Arthur E. Grier, III and Allen E. Grier. Grier’s oldest son passed in 1998 and he too was an intricate part of the industry.
“I enjoy working with my sons, they’ve been around the business since they were toddlers,” Grier said. “I never got to work with my father, but I did get to work with my grandfather.”
Grier’s father, who was also in the funeral business, died when he was in high school, but his sons have the opportunity to work alongside him.
Initially, Grier, Jr. wanted to become a football or basketball coach. After high school he attended Florida A&M University for three years before entering the Army, and then on to mortuary school in Cincinnatti.
Grier’s grandfather, who initially owned a grocery store and gas station across from his home in Charlotte, was also one of the city’s first successful black developers. He helped create the Grier Heights neighborhood.
” George Wallace, former executive director of the Grier Heights Economic Foundation, said. Along with (Grier’s) father there were four or five people who initially started the neighborhood.” Wallace and Grier grew up together and have been lifelong friends. “There is a lineage that exist when it comes to Grier, Jr. and the funeral business,” Wallace said. “It’s well thought of that a family business is still remaining. Grier is a real talented restoretive artist.”
Grier remembers the first time he embalmed more than four decades ago when a neighbor was struck and killed by a car. “It was during my apprenticeship, I told my instructor I was going to embalm” the body solo Grier said. “I made sure that man was embalmed and from there on I got my confidence.”
Because of back surgery, Grier now mostly assists with families.
The Grier family has serviced baseball legend Hank Aaron’s and former boxer Mike Tyson’s family members.
Gene Grier, who is preparing his two sons to continue on the legacy, said he meets all kinds of interesting people in this industry. “There’s a certain person for everything,” Grier said about choosing his career. “I had to learn how to deal with people and bereavement... but when families get that personal feel and satisfaction, then they know I care.”